One of Africa’s most famous national parks, Tanzania’s Serengeti has always attracted wildlife-seeking travelers. But only a few have seen it from the sky. And featured contributor Lola Akinmade Åkerström is one of them.

I have never seen an animal with such stamina. Three kilometers down a dusty dirt road and the hyena in front of us is still running. Our jeep slowly follows the scavenger as quietly as heavy tires crushing pebbles allow. It is barely dawn and we are heading towards Gurumeti River—the launch site of our hot air balloon ride.

The ink-black darkness hides the danger lurking within the tall savannah grass either side of us. The day before, my guide Naftar had casually explained to me that the serenity that comes from watching this grass swaying softly in the breeze was deceiving. If I left his jeep, I’d be dead in less than 10 seconds, he assured me.